SSU president Dr. Rita Rice Morris said the university participated in the information-gathering process for the Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut's 10-year strategic plan and the creation of the University System of Ohio. That plan was introduced in detail by Fingerhut to local residents at SSU last week.
With the introduction of the state's plan, SSU has had to revisit its own 20-year master plan, dubbed "20/20," to stay on track with the state.
"We were working on our strategic planning process when he started his, and it became apparent very early on that we needed to wait to see what his plans were going to be before we finalized what some of ours were," Morris said. "Our plan now is to resume that in the fall and hang it on the structure of the USO strategic plan."
She said the state plan has not affected the goals and initiatives of the university's 20/20 plan, but it has affected the steps that would need to be taken to achieve them.
Another creation of the USO and the state's strategic plan is the formation of HECSO, which SSU joined last week alongside Ohio University, Southern State University and Rio Grande University. More universities also are expected to join the organization soon.
"One of the things made clear in this strategic plan is that we need to be finding ways to collaborate better," she said. "You have to take the first step somewhere, and that's what we did."
To help SSU achieve the goals of the state strategic plan, as well as its own goals to enhance programs on its campus, the university set out last year on the largest reported fundraising campaign in the area - the Poised for Tomorrow campaign - to raise $12 million. Monies raised in the campaign reportedly would be used for undergraduate research, new technologies, specialized studies, faculty development, scholarships, enhanced clinical experiences and an enhanced quality of life for the region.
On May 1, SSU announced it had completed its campaign, and raised a record $15,578,993 in cash and planned gifts.
"It's all about enhancing educational opportunities and programming here at Shawnee State," Morris said. "Once we have finished up the campaign, we will spend some time this summer identifying what resources are available right now."
Part of the money raised already has been put to use around the SSU campus, with the creation of new tennis courts and an Appalachian music festival -